What makes a Good Sleep
Good sleep is a topic that is frequently overlooked, but it is an extremely important aspect of our daily lives. Sleep has been extensively researched and influences our quality of life in a variety of ways, including our work efficiency, endurance in daily tasks, disease prevention, and mental health maintenance, to name a few.
It has a strong influence on our mental and physical ability to recover, allows us to store memories, influences our mood, and promotes “growing” in children. It affects every aspect of our lives by influencing how we think, learn, behave, feel, and interact with others.
While sleep disorders and the impact of sleep on general health have been extensively researched, the conditions required for good sleep, often referred to as “sleep hygiene,” are sometimes overlooked.
We frequently prefer to look at pathology and label our sleeping problems as a disease. We rely too heavily on medication and overlook the simple but critical changes we could easily implement to improve our sleep.
Here are some ways :
- Sleep in well-ventilated rooms and regularly air out your home.
We take in oxygen from the air and expel carbon dioxide during respiration (CO2). Sleeping in small, closed rooms or confined spaces causes CO2 buildup.
- Avoid noise, even if you believe it does not bother you.
Noises above 50dB will reduce your total amount of sleep time. Even if you believe you have grown accustomed to the constant sounds in your environment, your body still perceives and responds to them. Low-frequency noises (e.g., road vehicles, aircraft, ventilation, and air-conditioning units) can also have an impact on sleep quality by increasing the time it takes to fall asleep and making you tired in the morning.
- Turn off all light sources.
Light regulates sleep. The signals sent by the eye in the presence of darkness or light are received by our internal clock (a group of cells in the hypothalamus). In response, it produces either sleepiness (by increasing melatonin production) or alertness (by increasing body temperature and releasing various hormones).
- Avoid drinking and eating before bed.
Stay away from alcohol. Even if it makes you drowsy, it has a negative impact on your sleep quality, causing you to wake up more frequently and sleep less deeply. Before going to bed, avoid sugary beverages, fruits, and snacks. These raise your energy level, making it more difficult to sleep. When you finally do fall asleep, the drop in blood sugar levels will jolt you awake.
- Incorporate sports into your daily routine.
If exercising right before bed keeps some people awake due to overstimulation, exercising in the morning or throughout the day definitely improves both the quality and duration of sleep.
A study published in 2014 found that eight weeks of aerobic exercise can significantly improve sleep quality in middle-aged women, while other studies have found that regular physical activity improves sleep quality in both men and women.
- Clear your mind.
Even if it’s difficult, don’t bring your work life, worries, or memories of negative events to bed with you. Rumination (repeating the same thought or problem) has been shown to create a negative mood that interferes with sleep. Try meditation or mindfulness exercises before going to bed. Autogenic training is also a simple and effective method for promoting mental and physical relaxation.
- Create a healthy bedtime routine.
Establish a bedtime routine (e.g., reading, nature walks, and/or meditation) and try to maintain a consistent sleep-wake cycle (go to bed and wake up every day at the same time). These practices have been shown to improve sleep quality and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. Significant improvements have been observed in children, but studies in adults and the elderly show similar results.
Examine your mental state, your surroundings, and your daily activities to see if there is anything that can be improved.